Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast

A cheep way to turn your TV in to a smart TV and stream media to it.

Chomecast and Box

Chromcast Only £30

Until now if you wanted to watch online videos on your TV you would have had to have an expensive Smart TV or have a Complicated streaming device set up on your TV.

Googles Chromcast is USB sized, cheap and easy to setup. The chromecast plugs in to your TV using a HDMI port and is powered it off of a USB port on your TV or from the mains. It takes as little as 3 minutes to get it working once its plugged in, it needs to be configured using your web browser on your computer or the free iOS or Android app for your smartphone.

Chromecast was designed to be used in conjunction with apps on iOS, Android or ChromeOS devices, these apps included YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Google Play and Netflix. Playing content can take as little as two button presses, it seemed to work flawlessly. If you use an Android device the playback controls will show up on the lock screen, which is nice and convenient.

When used like this, Video is not streamed from your device to the Chromecast instead it is streamed directly to the Chromecast, your devices is just the remote control. Do it this way ensures your device is free for other tasks, and also allows you to put your device to sleep and not worry about interrupting playback. The only way you can stream media that is stored on your device to the Chromecast is to use apps like LocalCast for Android, which works well enough, but tends to have a clumsy interface. There are equivalent apps for iOS devices but they to tend to work poorly.

There is another way you can stream whatever is being displayed on an open Chrome tab on your PC, Mac, or Chromebook to your Chromecast (which Google is calling tabcasting) but its only a beta version. Using it this way gives you access to services were there is not an official Chromcast app. It worked fine when showing photos from Flicker; but videos from 4OD and music from Spotify would not play properly. You can also drag and drop an MP4 video file that you have stored on your Computer into a Chrome tab so it can be played on the Chromcast, But for smooth play back you need a powerful computer and it tends to work better with standard definitions videos not HD videos.

Conclusion

The Chromecast device generally works well and is relatively cheap, there are a few compatible apps for the device at present, but using your mobile or laptop to control the device wont be for everyone. There could be more apps in the future making it more compatible, but for now there is are better choses out there like the Apple TV or the Now TV.

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21 More Torrent Sites Blocked By ISP’s

21 More Torrent Sites Blocked By ISP’s

Torrent  Blocked By ISP

Torrent Blocked By ISP

Its good news for copyright holders as they have won a significant ruling in the High Court, that orders UK ISPs to block 21 major file-sharing sites.

The decision marks the BPI’s biggest victory to date. The music industry trade body managed to block only 4 of the file-sharing sites till this point.

The 21 sites blocked by a recent court order includes nine torrent sites and 12 sites that would link you to sites that were hosting pirated films, TV shows, music and software. The BPI said it had contacted the site asking them to remove the copyrighted content, but took it to court when the request was ignored. “We asked the sites to stop infringing copyright, but unfortunately they did not and we were left with no choice but to apply to the court, the judge considered all the evidence and declared that ISPs should not allow access to the sites,” BPI CEO Geoff Taylor said, Only the biggest UK ISPs are bound by this high court ruling so BT, EE, Sky, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin will have to comply. Previously the BPIs biggest success was to force ISP to block access to The Pirate Bay, which was one of the world most popular file-sharing torrent sites.

Mr Taylor said the blocks had “significantly reduced the use of these sites in the UK”. At present it is difficult to access the top 10 most popular torrent sites in the UK but not impossible.

Critics have argued that the blocks are ineffective as freely available software can enable people to gain access to the blocked sites again. Earlier this year The Pirate Bay launched PirateBrowser, which is a web browser that will easily circumvent the ISPs blocks.

Below is a list of some of the court orded blocked sites: –

  • 1337x
  • Bitsnoop
  • TorrentHound
  • Extratorrent
  • Monova
  • Trorrentcrazy
  • Torrentdownlaods
  • Torrentreactor
  • Torrentz

Surely one of the best way to stop people downloading films, music and software would be to make the online version cheaper than its media based counter part, after all they want us to download stuff or use the cloud, so why does it cost so much? After all the cloud based services or downloadable versions should have less over heads as they don’t need to burn anything to disk, have a special printers to print on to the disk, print a cover, have a case to put it in, then ship it to the store. So are the big company’s trying to tell us it costs the same to make a physical copy and then ship it to a store as it does to have one master copy and sell copy’s of that on line or make it accessible in the cloud? I am Sure people would be more inclined to pay a few more pounds for a proper copy than a pirated one. Why is it then films can cost more on line than their media based counterpart? Illegally downloaded copy’s only exists because company’s want too make to a bigger profit. So would it not make more sense to make them a lot cheaper and sell more than keep it the way it is and sell less?

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Piracy ‘Three-Strikes’ Law Delayed Until 2015

Piracy ‘Three-Strikes’ Law Delayed Until 2015

piracy-its-a-crimePeople who are downloading music, films and software illegally won’t be sent a warning letter from their ISPs until 2015 at the earliest.

The new controversial system is part of the Digital Economy Act, which will force ISPs to send people letters informing them they have been caught downloading illegally copyrighted content.

Anyone who receives three letters in a year will have their details added to a list; copyright holders, such as film companies, record labels and software companies, can then get a court order and force ISP to hand over customers details so they can take legal action.

But the new ‘three-strikes’ system has been dogged by delays after legal challenges from BT and TalkTalk, the government said it was originally planned for 2011, but will not be introduced before the end of 2015.

The government has also said that “technical changes” were being made to legislation on who will pay for sending out letters to copyright infringers.

ISPs have expressed alarm at the potential costs they will incur for complying with orders from copyright holders.

The Department for Culture Medial and Sport said the delays were “regrettable”.

The Internet Service Providers Association, which represents Internet companies in the UK, said the legislation was “rushed” and had not been subject to “sufficient scrutiny”. It’s once again called on film, music, software and entertainment companies to “embrace the benefits of the internet” and create better fully licensed legal services rather then pursuing lawsuits.

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